In March 1977, Comrade President Marien Ngouabi is brutally murdered in Brazzaville and young Michel’s life will never be the same. From this historic starting point, Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou weaves an emotive portrait of an ordinary family and how world events impact the mundane. Is Comrade President’s murder an isolated event – or is it linked to colonialism, decolonisation and the commerce-led evisceration of the African continent? Are the events of our time really ever only of our time? With humour, linguistic adroitness and cutting wit, Alain Mabanckou steers these questions into a compelling human story. In the eye of this vast narrative, Michel learns how much must change for everything to stay the same.